Seth Meyers stepped out from behind the Late Night desk to make his Netflix stand-up special debut with Lobby Baby, now streaming, and oddly enough, viewers are being given the option to skip an element of the special that arguably represents what Meyers does best nowadays: just absolutely windmill-dunking on the president. Odder still, the “Skip Politics” button’s addition was Meyers’ own idea.
The crowd at Minneapolis’ Pantages Theater cheers resoundingly when Meyers announces that he “want[s] to talk politics” about 39 minutes into the hourlong special; the comic explains the “Skip Politics” feature and points to where the button will appear on the screens of the folks at home. Though Meyers acknowledges not everyone has an appetite for Trump jokes, he also goes on record as being in favor of them: “The jokes are the only good part about living through the Trump era. Living through the Trump era without any jokes would be like getting a prostate exam and not wanting the results.” The button stays up throughout the special’s eight-odd-minute political segment, and ends with Meyers trolling anyone who took him up on the offer of skipping over it: “So I guess my point is, I misjudged [Trump], and I do think he’s a very good president. Hopefully, based on how I laid it out, you agree with me, too.”
“It dawned on me that because Lobby Baby was on Netflix, there would be this opportunity to put in technology that would allow people to skip it,” Meyers told CNN Business. “It was a way to build in the response to anyone who would say, ‘Oh, let me guess, there’s going to be jokes about the President.’” The former SNL “Weekend Update” host went on to describe the button as merely “another joke in the special.”
Meyers drew inspiration for his “Skip Politics” bit from an unlikely source: an interactive episode of a decidedly less funny piece of Netflix programming, Black Mirror. “It was the idea of seeing ‘Bandersnatch’ and realizing, Oh, that’s a thing you can do on a platform like this,” Meyers told Vulture. “[I’m] aware of the risk of talking about something unique to the moment for a special that’s ideally going to live on for a while, but I also didn’t want to do a special in 2019 that didn’t mention the moment we’re living through.”
Meyers’ “joking response to those who would complain about politics in their comedy” (as he went on to put it to Vulture), though innovative, sort of allows him to have his cake and eat it, too, both mocking and appeasing those who see politics and comedy (or any art form, really) as necessarily separate entities. Here’s hoping those folks’ curiosity gets the better of them, lest they walk away from Lobby Baby sans those prostate exam results.
You can watch a trailer for Lobby Baby below, read Paste’s review of the special here and enjoy Meyers’ latest lampooning of you-know-who right here.